Steelers remain comfortable with their current Big Ben backup plan

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With quarterback Cam Newton reportedly willing to serve as a backup in 2020, there’s an increasing chorus of folks advocating for the Steelers to sign Newton to be the understudy to Ben Roethlisberger. Earlier this week on #PFTPM, Steelers G.M. Kevin Colbert made it clear — if it wasn’t already — that the Steelers are standing pat with who they have.

“When you look back at the history of Ben, when Ben was young and ascending, we had veteran quarterbacks behind him,” Colbert said. “When he became that veteran, we always had a younger drafted player behind him. That’s by design, because you’re always trying to develop guys as Ben moves into the later stage of his career. Maybe you’re developing the next one, you never know that.

“Landry Jones developed into a nice backup. Joshua Dobbs did. Mason [Rudolph] did last year. We’re comfortable with Mason Rudolph as a backup and Devlin Hodges in the mix. Between the two of them, they were 8-6 last year. You get into a backup quarterback situation, 8-6 is not 14-0 but there’s some comfort in knowing that they can get you through the hopefully nonexistent spell that may occur if your quarterback gets injured.”

A major factor in this regard is money, especially with Roethlisberger among the highest-paid starters and Newton surely unwilling to be one of the lowest-paid backups.

“Lot of times when we get into salary cap management and you have significant dollars in your starter, it’s hard to put a lot of dollars in your backup,” Colbert said. “We’re very comfortable knowing if need be Mason and Devlin and/or Devlin and Mason and even Paxton Lynch, who’s got number one talent. We’ll see what we got, but we’re comfortable with that right now.”

So it won’t be Cam in Pittsburgh for now. And it may not even be Cam if Ben were to exit for the season in Week Two, like he did in 2019.

32 responses to “Steelers remain comfortable with their current Big Ben backup plan

  1. Mason Rudolph is a really good QB. He’ll settle in nicely, once Big Ben hangs em up.

  2. They just have no interest in playoffs unless Ben is playing. They should have signed a good backup with Ben’s health and age issues. Makes no sense. That’s Coolbert.

  3. Didn’t everyone attribute not making the playoffs last year to the horrible backups? Didn’t they flip flop between backup QBs to try to find which one was the least bad?

    It’s kind of insane in a way. I can see the steelers missing the playoffs again this year and Ben retiring like he should’ve done already.

  4. Steelers too smart to give Cam the kind of money he will want to be a Ben’s back up. Cam needs to find an organization run by stupid people. Can you spell Dan Snyder?

  5. I think it would be great for Cam to sit in the backup role for a bit. Give him time to really heal up, lose some of that ego, and learn the game from a different perspective. He truly was superman for a while, but he can’t be that guy anymore. I think he has tremendous arm talent and a head for the game when he’s healthy and in the right state of mind. I hope he finds a gig. He was a blast to watch.

  6. Pittsburgh is dumb if they think Ben’s backups are that good. Those guys cost them their playoff shot last year. They better hope Ben stays healthy all year. They should’ve drafted Fromm or Eason

  7. parkercantlose says:
    May 7, 2020 at 3:51 pm
    They just have no interest in playoffs unless Ben is playing. They should have signed a good backup with Ben’s health and age issues. Makes no sense. That’s Coolbert.

    ***************************************************************************

    Unless Cam wants to sign for a Jameis deal, Steelers aren’t going to have the cap space to sign a veteran QB.

  8. Now let’s see stories about other teams’ comfort levels with their backups. Steelers are just one team, and a mediocre one at that.

  9. eagleswin says:
    May 7, 2020 at 3:55 pm
    Didn’t everyone attribute not making the playoffs last year to the horrible backups? Didn’t they flip flop between backup QBs to try to find which one was the least bad?

    It’s kind of insane in a way. I can see the steelers missing the playoffs again this year and Ben retiring like he should’ve done already.

    When Roudolph had two concussions he was forced to miss time. Landry Jones came in one game when Roudolph was obviously out of practice or still suffering from a brain injury and they still went 8-6.

  10. Mason Rudolph is a gamer. He really knows how to “use his head” in heated situations… 😉

  11. Rudolph and Duck are garbage. They went 8-6 last year because of the defense.

  12. Imagine those two ego maniacs in the same qb room? Then Ben would have to not talk about him on his weekly radio show, good luck with that. In all fairness, Ben would just not feel comfortable with Newton breathing down his neck and honestly, he shouldn’t have to. I think Pittsburgh Would’ve drafted a qb high this year if they had a first round pick but no doubt they will next season, and he will be the heir apparent to Ben.

  13. Steelers have already dealt with enough locker room cancers in the past (Brown and Bell) to be suckered into signing Cam.

    I know he may not be all that great but I would be willing to guess the Colts would come off Brissett for the right (reasonable cost) mid to late round pick. Jacoby would definitely give them a more solid backstop than Rudolph or Hodges currently do.

  14. I thought I had an opinion on this, and then I considered the long term record of success that the Steelers have had, so many winning seasons, so many championships. Then I decided they must be doing something right. Instead of telling them what I think I should be listening to what they’re saying and absorbing it. They do have one of those franchises that in the mix every year even if it’s at the fringe.

  15. 8-6 between them and it cost the Steelers a playoff spot. Rudolph must have dirt on Colbert and or Tomlin, just like Artie BURNS did cuz there was NO WAY that chump should have been a starter.

  16. I thought Rudolph did just about ok as a 2nd yr mid-rounder. Came in as backup for 8 games 82 passer rate, spirited play, results 5-3. Not bad enough to say he could not become a starter.

  17. It’s also apparent that they are comfortable washing out of the playoff every year, and that’s if they even make the playoffs in the first place, because why else would they keep Mike Tomlin around. The guy hasn’t won anything since taking over and winning immediately with Bill Cowhers team. Since then he hasn’t done anything but lose every single season to either Belichick or a Jacksonville team that had no business winning that game.

  18. streetyson says:
    May 7, 2020 at 5:32 pm
    I thought Rudolph did just about ok as a 2nd yr mid-rounder. Came in as backup for 8 games 82 passer rate, spirited play, results 5-3. Not bad enough to say he could not become a starter.

    ******************************************************************************

    Agree. Also didn’t help that the Steelers didn’t have a full-time QB coach working with him (or Hodges). I’ll be curious to see what, if anything, Matt Canada does.

    Part of the reason some people soured on Rudolph quickly was that he came out college with a rep for certain things, particularly throwing floaters. Some of this showed up to an extent (even though Fichtner hardly let him or Hodges throw anything other than short tosses), but people turned on Rudolph way too soon. Also think a good number of fans were undeservedly lovestruck with Hodges after his preseason and wanted to see him get a chance. That proved to be unwarranted.

  19. Almost, barely, not quite cutting it last year will be even further from cutting it next season. The Ravens will be just as good or better, the Bengals will have a #1 draft pick QB and Green back in the lineup, and the Browns have a competent coach and a few more good players.

    If the Steelers lose Ben, they are toast with this set of backups.

  20. One thing you have admire about the Steelers is loyalty. Steelers fans make a lot of noise about replacing Tomlin. They better be damn careful what the wish for. He is a god man and leader of men. If they are happy for their backups then I’m happy for them. If they don’t need Newton they don’t need him but Cam has to sign a team friendly contract and realize he’s not the man anymore.

  21. They have no money because of terrible cap management. Backup QBs are proven terrible, ignored the position..terrible drafting. Ben is done. Steelers 5-11.

  22. I’d love to have Mason Rudolph in Buffalo

  23. Cam is an Alpha that had short success. Alphas can never fall in line in the pecking order and usually find somewhere else to lead again. Thinking otherwise is foolish, just like thinking AB will learn a lesson and will change his ways.

  24. When Ben went down last year everyone said that the Steelers would win 2 or 3 games tops. They won 8 and they were in the playoff picture in Week 17 with essentially a 3rd and 4th string QB the entire season. The defense will be a top 7 defense this year and the offense can’t be anywhere near as bad as last year.

  25. The only thing that matters is that Ben cares deeply about all of his backup quarterbacks, and about all humankind.

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